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cambam007

Streamer difference

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Buy an M-Scaler. 

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1 hour ago, cambam007 said:

we are all cut from the same cloth that makes the sails of this boat we all share.

yes i have progressed and evolved my system and constantly upgrade and tweak and i am at a point where yes i am happy but always looking at weakest links

Yeh I kept wanting more until I settled on the bluesound node 2, Klein SE dac and some cables made by Bill, I am extremely confident that for the money I could not do better having been through a few streamers and a few Dacs.

 

what you say is correct, I started with a Sonos connect, this was bettered by a denon heos, which was bettered by the Bluesound so they are all slightly different, just depends if you want to shell out the extra $$$ to try.

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1 hour ago, Sime V2 said:

Buy an M-Scaler. 

is that where the slippery slope ends?

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1 hour ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

is that where the slippery slope ends?

For me it has. 

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Don't want to hijack the topic, but I have same dilemma as topic starter.  Tried to google the issue,  but cannot find a definitive answer. 

 

I currently have CA Stream Magic 6, with digital signal going into external DAC.  My question is will there be notable difference in sound quality if I upgrade to more expensive streamer? Again,  I'm going to by-pass built-in DAC anyway,  using streamer as a digital source only. 

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Just now, Islander77 said:

Don't want to hijack the topic, but I have same dilemma as topic starter.  Tried to google the issue,  but cannot find a definitive answer. 

 

I currently have CA Stream Magic 6, with digital signal going into external DAC.  My question is will there be notable difference in sound quality if I upgrade to more expensive streamer? Again,  I'm going to by-pass built-in DAC anyway,  using streamer as a digital source only. 

Yep. They all sound different 

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14 minutes ago, Islander77 said:

I currently have CA Stream Magic 6, with digital signal going into external DAC.  My question is will there be notable difference in sound quality if I upgrade to more expensive streamer? Again,  I'm going to by-pass built-in DAC anyway,  using streamer as a digital source only. 

 

On 11/04/2019 at 11:08 AM, Snoopy8 said:

I have compared Bluesound Node 1, Sms-200, Sms-200 Ultra, both Sms with different power supplies on the same DAC. Some differences between boxes are minor but some are obvious.  If you include PCs working as streamers, then add 2 more with the same DAC.

 

Have also used Cambridge Audio CXN, Pi server with linear power supply, MicroRendu. Did not go up market with Lumin, Antipodes etc..

I have done a number of comparisons, see above quote from an earlier post in thread. The streamer does have a significant impact on sound quality. 

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Thanks for quick replies guys, then what streamers should I be looking at to replace StreamMagic6?  Budget is anything between AU$1000-3000, not looking for any particular features (will stream music via USB from external drive),  only looking for the best sound.

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5 minutes ago, Islander77 said:

Thanks for quick replies guys, then what streamers should I be looking at to replace StreamMagic6?  Budget is anything between AU$1000-3000, not looking for any particular features (will stream music via USB from external drive),  only looking for the best sound.

IMO choice of power suppy is important for streamers, so if u r looking at DC-powered units then you might need to allow a bit in ur budget for a linear power supply.

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13 minutes ago, Islander77 said:

Thanks for quick replies guys, then what streamers should I be looking at to replace StreamMagic6?  Budget is anything between AU$1000-3000, not looking for any particular features (will stream music via USB from external drive),  only looking for the best sound.

Suggest the SOtM SMS200 Ultra Neo paired with a Gieseler Kraftwerk PSU (12V 4A or Gold Tune).  Can sometimes get them in Classifieds.   And don't neglect the USB cable, get a decent one.

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I'm in the market for a streamer, and I recently compared a few at the Life Style Store.

 

Streamers and rank:

1.  Cyrus Stream X

2. Azur 851N 

3. Moon 390P

4. Node 2i

 

Other setup:

DAC: NAD m51

Amp: Mcintosh MA252

Speakers: Sonus faber homage series serafino 

 

Impression:

There is definitely a noticeable difference between the streamers.

The Cyrus sounds much better than the others. If it didn't look so terrible, I'd definitely have picked it up.

The streamer in the Azur sounds equivocal / marginally better than the Node 2i, however the DAC in the Azur is nowhere near as good as the m51. 

The Node 2i has a much nicer to use app. In terms of price:performance, the Node 2i is definitely up there. It also provides a good option if you already have a DAC. 

 

I haven't enjoyed any of the Moon products at all (streamers, DAC, amps). So take the ranking of the moon with a grain of salt as I may have been biased towards the 390P before even listening to it. I wanted to believe that the 10k product sounded better than the 2k one, but I could not. 

 

I also had a listen at Len Wallis and compared the Marantz NA6006 (pretty sure it was this model) vs the Node 2i. The Marantz definitely sounded better (but it was also twice the price). I haven't directly compared the Marantz and Cyrus, so not sure which one would be better. 

 

I'm planning on auditioning the Marantz NA11S1, Cambridge CXN V2 and Marantz Na8005. Shall keep you updated. 

Edited by cobraj
Added in Moon comparison

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Had Bluesound , a Powernode2 but I had difficulty with it picking up my Network shares and although the help from Bluesound via Bluos was good, I could just never quite get it to gel properly the way I wanted it too.

 

Network shares via the app was just difficult and in the end a reason for me to flog it.

 

So a streamer  with an app that was easy to use was what I searched for and a member here demonstrated his streamer via an app on a ipad mini....I was hooked, I wanted it.

 

Comes with it's own DAC or you buy without and use your own u-beaut DAC.

 

Read this review>>> of the older model

and this review of the newer model and it's ability to do multi channel hi-rez files>>>> Endgame streamer

 

The end of the review;

I'm happy to say that DigiBit's Aria Piccolo + is a well-integrated music server that's delightfully capable and easy to use. With suitable attached devices it will play uncompressed (AIFF, WAV) and lossless (ALAC, FLAC) formats up to 32/384 PCM, as well as DXD (32/352.8), DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256 files in glorious multichannel. It was a pleasure to use, and will suit the needs of almost any aficionado of music and multichannel-sound.

 

But read the review. I don't need or use multi-channel and it was the Piccolo's cd ripper and ease of use that got me curious.

 

**Disclaimer: Yes I'm a fanboi...

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hi Cobraj

I've just started looking at streamers as well.  Currently play music from an Ipod Classic thru a Wadia 171 but want the convenience of a streamer.   If you ran the 4 streamers you mentioned above thru an external DAC, theoretically they should have all sounded the same wouldn't they?     The streamer in this configuration would just providfe the 1's and 0's and the external DAC "flavors" the music? 

I've got a good DAC and dont want my sound quality deteriorated! 
 

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Get Innuos...one box solution....streamer/storage/PSU

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1 hour ago, yaniskaty said:

Being a digital source and simply passing it through rather than unfolding it is there a difference in streamers that results in a fuller finer deeper detailed sound or is it in most part down to the dac section? 

I used to think the same about a steamer having no influence because all it did was a digital pass through. I was using a cheap Windows laptop running Foobar2000 for a number of years and was shocked that an entry level SMS-200 with standard wall wart blew it away.  I have since gone through a number of streamers, with different configurations and can pick differences, some small but others significant.

 

The DAC has a larger influence than a streamer. But with the same DAC,  (and no MQA unfolding), there are differences between streamers, in particular the influence of their power supplies and the software player. 

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Agree with @Snoopy8 ,  can make a significant difference., especially the first step up or 2

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Hell yes they make a difference. And I’m not good at being able to pick differences. 

 

@Sime V2 I heard a difference with your old Chord 2 Qute. (Which, you may like to know, I sold to the OP after buying a Qutest 🤣- @cambam007 did you end up replacing it with something?).

 

Had 2Qute hooked up to a Node 2 and then an SMS 200. The SMS 200 was way better, though it is at the opposite end of the scale to the Node 2 for user friendliness and interface (unless you just use the SMS 200 for Roon, in which case it is okay, except switching between Roon and Tidal is annoying). 

 

Side by side with the SMS-200 Ultra, the Ultra is better.

 

Compared those two with a Lumin T1 and I thought both SMS’s were better. 

 

Compared all of those with a $500 NUC running Audio Linux, and for me this was slightly better than the SMS Ultra. (I had all of these on hand for testing).

 

(Disclaimer: I think all of these are streamers - maybe the NUC isn’t, but it does the same thing.)

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43 minutes ago, Mike13 said:

Hell yes they make a difference. And I’m not good at being able to pick differences. 

 

@Sime V2 I heard a difference with your old Chord 2 Qute. (Which, you may like to know, I sold to the OP after buying a Qutest 🤣- @cambam007 did you end up replacing it with something?).

 

Had 2Qute hooked up to a Node 2 and then an SMS 200. The SMS 200 was way better, though it is at the opposite end of the scale to the Node 2 for user friendliness and interface (unless you just use the SMS 200 for Roon, in which case it is okay, except switching between Roon and Tidal is annoying). 

 

Side by side with the SMS-200 Ultra, the Ultra is better.

 

Compared those two with a Lumin T1 and I thought both SMS’s were better. 

 

Compared all of those with a $500 NUC running Audio Linux, and for me this was slightly better than the SMS Ultra. (I had all of these on hand for testing).

 

(Disclaimer: I think all of these are streamers - maybe the NUC isn’t, but it does the same thing.)

OH hey Mike :) 

 

Ended up selling the 2 Qute as i am now running meridians and they have everything inbuilt so had a bit of a clearout.

 

I am still with the bluesound for now as one drawback of the meridians are i am limited to spdif in so the sms 200 and UR are out unless i go down the road of converting usb to coax.

 

meridian have 218 which looks to be very capable but keeping my options open for now. 

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On 18/05/2019 at 12:06 PM, tamarasue said:

hi Cobraj

I've just started looking at streamers as well.  Currently play music from an Ipod Classic thru a Wadia 171 but want the convenience of a streamer.   If you ran the 4 streamers you mentioned above thru an external DAC, theoretically they should have all sounded the same wouldn't they?     The streamer in this configuration would just providfe the 1's and 0's and the external DAC "flavors" the music? 

I've got a good DAC and dont want my sound quality deteriorated! 
 

I was initially very sceptical at a streamer making a difference. But I could definitely tell (I was really hoping it wouldn't make a difference as I wanted to save some money!) 

 

I also trialled the Azur and Moon as a streamer/DAC. And then I ran them only as a streamer through my DAC (NAD M51). This allowed me to isolate the streamer component and compare it as effectively as possible. So I've ranked only thr steaming part of the components. 

 

I also tried to play the same songs. And I used the same input / output as well. (surprisingly the Cyrus didn't have a digital output which seems really strange to me) 

 

I think if you have a good DAC already then you shouldn't get a streamer/DAC. You're paying extra money for something that you don't need, which means you've lost quality on something else. 

 

If you have a store available that stocks a few streamers, I'd strongly recommend taking in your gear and auditioning them. 

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On 19/05/2019 at 10:17 AM, Snoopy8 said:

I used to think the same about a steamer having no influence because all it did was a digital pass through. I was using a cheap Windows laptop running Foobar2000 for a number of years and was shocked that an entry level SMS-200 with standard wall wart blew it away.  I have since gone through a number of streamers, with different configurations and can pick differences, some small but others significant.

 

The DAC has a larger influence than a streamer. But with the same DAC,  (and no MQA unfolding), there are differences between streamers, in particular the influence of their power supplies and the software player. 

I'm still relatively new to researching and auditioning streamers. 

 

Have you heard the Cyrus? And if so, are there any better in a similar price range? 

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21 minutes ago, cobraj said:

Have you heard the Cyrus? And if so, are there any better in a similar price range? 

Have not heard the Cyrus Stream X (which is what you posted earlier).  

On 25/04/2019 at 3:13 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Suggest the SOtM SMS200 Ultra Neo paired with a Gieseler Kraftwerk PSU (12V 4A or Gold Tune).  Can sometimes get them in Classifieds.   And don't neglect the USB cable, get a decent one.

My earlier suggestion for a streamer ...

15 hours ago, Mike13 said:

Compared all of those with a $500 NUC running Audio Linux, and for me this was slightly better than the SMS Ultra. (I had all of these on hand for testing).

I did listen to the same NUC with Audio Linux and thought that the SMS-200 Ultra Neo just pipped it.  However, the difference is small.  BUT the NUC is less than 1/3 the price!!! 

-----------------------------

@cobraj  once you get to a certain level, the law of diminishing returns apply to streamers (like all things audio).  My next paragraph contradicts my earlier post and I hope it does not confuse things further.

 

 If I was starting new now and with limited budget, I would be tempted to try an Intel NUC (i3 OK if not intending to anything fancy) with SnakeOil and/or AudioLinux.  They provide similar software players to commercial offerings, requires some setup and configuration but deliver sound quality close enough for a considerably less $$$. Or if you don't mind getting more hands on, Pi streamers are even cheaper...   

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20 hours ago, Mike13 said:

Compared those two with a Lumin T1 and I thought both SMS’s were better.  

 

I think the latter product offers USB digital output.  Lumin T1 offers analog output - it does not offer USB output.  For a USB digital output Lumin product or connection to an external DAC, U1 (MINI) should be considered as I explained in PM.  For an apple to apple streamer comparison please use the same type of output, the same cable to the same DAC.

Edited by wklie

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22 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

 

@cobraj  once you get to a certain level, the law of diminishing returns apply to streamers (like all things audio).  My next paragraph contradicts my earlier post and I hope it does not confuse things further.

Not confusing at all, makes sense :)

Thank you so much! 

 

I didn't even consider getting a psu for the streamer until you mentioned it. 

 

Do you think that the streamer benefits the most with a dedicated psu? (as in compared to a DAC, Amp etc)

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1 minute ago, cobraj said:

I didn't even consider getting a psu for the streamer until you mentioned it. 

 

Do you think that the streamer benefits the most with a dedicated psu? (as in compared to a DAC, Amp etc)

Not all streamers benefit from a linear PSU and the same applies to DACs.  With my SMS-200 (std), a Gieseler 1.5A PSU was a significant jump over the wall wart.  Used the same PSU when I upgraded to the SMS-200 Ultra, but that 1.5A PSU was shaded by the 4A version.  The 4A was better but the jump was smaller.

 

How much an improvement depends on streamer.  Sometimes, the improvement is also debatable.   Suggest you set a budget, then pick a streamer and see whether others have used a PSU with it.  Good PSUs are not cheap (recommend Gieseler) and it becomes a cost vs benefit discussion.

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